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a the president. kerry med with sergey lavrov. afterwards, he spoke of hope for de-escalation of tension. >> russia made a choice. and we have clearly stated that we believe it is the wrong choice, that is the choice to move troops into crimea. russia can now choose to de-escalate this situation. and we are committed to working with russia. and together with our friends and allies in an effort to provide a way for this entire situation to find the road to de-escalation. the united states is ready to work with all parties to make that happen and to make it happen as soon as possible. >> russian president vladimir putin has also spoken to angela merkel today. if diplomacy fails, the u.s. and its allies could put in sanctions against russia in a matter of days. howard fineman and michael mcfall. he's now a fellow at the hoover institution and an msnbc analyst. mr. ambassador, it's great to have you. give us your sense of the limits of this crisis. is there a sense in your mind right now based on your experience that vladimir putin has pushed as far as he's going to go or you think he might
was there. also, just ahead of this meeting, sergei lavrov, the russian foreign minister, had flatly denied again that there are any russians troops in crimea. he said, "how can we pull them back? how can we stop an occupation when these are self-defense forces? these are not russian." that really dampened hopes of any meaningful progress. at least they've talked, and at least it has gone on longer than we thought. the other big news, of course, is the e.u. weighing in with a big financial package, offering $15 billion worth of aid. that comes after yesterday's announcement of a billion dollars of -- of loan guarantees from the u.s. the priority, aside from calming down the security situation in crimea, is, of course, to try and stabilize the ukrainian economy which is in a terrible way with the russians turning the screws still more. the finance ministry here have been frank. they say we've got no money left. the coffers are empty, it's been stolen. also in the east, we've seen more violence, clashes between pro-russian protesters and supporters of the ukrainian government. we've had the -
'll be back tomorrow. secretary john kerry's meetling this hour with his russian counterpart, sergey lavrov, earlier today, they had a brief discussion in which secretary kerry urged direct talks between russia and the ukraine. according to a senior state department official. >> united states of america, the russian federation, and the united kingdom of great britain reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of the ukraine. there are very clear legal obligations that are at risk in this, and we're going to talk about those this morning. >> andrea, as i said, is traveling with secretary kerry and filed this report from paris today. >> chris, here in paris, john kerry has a very tough diplomatic game. he's playing all the angles. he's trying, first of all, to rally the allies, trying to get them to hang tough against vladimir putin. here in europe, where, of course, they all dependent on russia for their energy, for less expensive natural gas. so some, including germany, are a little more reluctant to be to
, that there are essentially vigilante attacks on russian speakers in the east and south of ukraine. sergey lavrov defended russia's action by saying they're defending the fundamental right to light of -- right to life of the ethnic russians in those areas. is there any evidence that that is the case? >> i would not say that the lawlessness that does exist in some major cities is targeted toward russians or russian speakers. it's very difficult to distinguish who is russian and who is not. people generally here think of themselves as ukrainians and they can hold multiple identities, both as russians and as ukrainians at the same time. the relationship is so close. so i don't think it's targeted in that way. but there is clearly a spike of disorder and lawlessness that everyone is suffering under. >> nicolai petro, thank you so much for joining me. >> sure. >> joining me now is michael mcfaul, just stepped down last week as u.s. ambassador to russia. he's professor of political science at stanford university. ambassador, what is the next step here? it seems that this has escalated tremendously quickly. what
in this -- and we're going to talk about those here this morning. >> russia's foreign minister, sergey lavrov, did not attend the morning meeting, but he is expected to meet face to face with secretary kerry later today. before heading to paris, kerry stopped in kiev where he unveiled a billion-dollar aid package for ukraine and met with interim leaders, including the acting foreign minister who travelled to paris for the u.n. meeting. more on that from nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell. andrea? >> reporter: what kerry is trying to do by bringing him here to paris is elevate him, give him legitimacy, and help him stand up to russia, and help persuade his colleagues they should avoid any military confrontation that would give putin a pretext to move further into ukraine. and frankly, that is what u.s. officials think is really putin's end game. they believe that he does want to take over ukraine, but this is part of his grand vision to re-create what was lost with the end of the soviet union, to re-create a russian federation that is really an empire. they don't know how to
counterpart, sergey lavrov. we also had the phone call the president had with angela merkel, but let me start with kerry and lavrov. what do they say to each other? what's critical right now? >> first of all, the fact they are meeting is a good sign. they have developed a cordial relationship. i've been in many meetings with them and the fact they are talking leads open the possibility of this off-ramp that you mentioned and that the president and the administration is trying to provide for putin. i don't think there will be any break ththroughs today, i think it's early for that, but you will hear about the consequences, economic consequences of continuing this and foreign minister lavrov, just the justification for it all. resolution will come later in this crisis. if it comes at all. >> meantime, simultaneously, you have secretary kerry talking to a lot, frankly, of foreign counterparts. here's some of the criticism that we've been hearing. this one from congressman mike rogers. >> right now, putin has set the table in the crimea for negotiations the way he would like them to go, and i thi
but some kind of diplomatic solution. secretary of state meeting with count counterpart sergey lavrov. this is the first time since the current crisis escalated that they've had a face-to-face to talk exit strategy. the ukrainian and russian governments meeting for the very first time, talking on a cabinet level today. and russian defense official is discussing ukraine later today at nato in brussels. so, there is definitely a change. whether this change is sustained is another question. back to you be. >> on the international stage the only reality that putin seems to be willing to acquiesce to is the economic reality of what this is doing in russia to their market. what's putin's next move? >> reporter: well, you're right. putin -- if there's one man who could make or break a deal, it's vladimir putin and it's obviously unclear what his next move is. washington and berlin are pushing this idea of sending international observers to monitor any rights abuses against russians or pro-russians on crimea, allowing hopefully some kind of pullback by those russian forces or pro-russian forc
and in rome. you will see sergei lavrov but doesn't seem they are backing down. >> it does seem, the ukrainian government and military, russian military out of uniform but there, are trying not to shoot at each other to be blunt. >> i think that's true. i think there were some shots fired today apparently and there are ship movements and worrying facts on the ground. so far it has not been a violent confrontation. kerry was praising ukrainian leaders for showing restraint because the provocation politically and russia could move farther into the rest of the ukraine. so he is urging them to pull themselves together into an interim government that doesn't give putin any pretext that he can point to to try to take control of an entire country. >> let's talk about the president, our president. president obama seems to be allowing the russians do have an interest in ukraine in the sense there's a history of the russian people living there, russian speaking people being there, actually russian natives as well. they've got the fleet down there in the black sea. they seem -- he seems to be saying, you
spoke with russia's foreign minister, sergei lavrov, earlier today, again telling russia not to engage. so, that is what we have been hearing all along. president obama will undoubtedly come out with some stern words. what he will say specifically, we'll have to wait and see, but of course, earlier today, the former president of ukraine, yanukovych, has not been deposed he still leads himself as the leader of ukraine, despite the fact that many do not see the situation in that light. so president obama will come out. i expect him to have strong words from russia. clearly, this situation and russia entering that space only increasing tensions between the east and the west, between the united states and russia. u.s. officials have said all week long that this is not a return to the cold war, but alex there is no doubt that if russia has, in fact, engaged and entered ukraine, that that will increase these tensions, increase what has been a very frosty relationship between the united states and russia as of late. alex? >> you know, kristen, we spoke with national security adviser, ben rhod
ahead. this morning, foreign minister sergey lavrov insisted his government is acting in its own defense. here's nbc's jim maceda who has more from moscow. >> reporter: putin now has his hand on the russian crown jewel. crimea gives putin an essential warm water port, and it counters in his mind the nightmare scenario. that's what he sees as an ultranationalist government suddenly cancelling russia's lease on the black see base and kiev taking control of crimea and then joining nato down the line, bringing the enemy, in his mind, right back to russia's doorstep. so vladimir putin has made that calculus, and it's now unclear just what the west can do about it. chuck, back to you. >> thank you, jim. right now, according to folks i've talked to, the u.s. has three options, none of them involve the u.s. military. the first, the u.s. could move along with european allies to officially suspend or kick russia out of the g8. that would be symbolic. second, the administration could pursue its own sanctions that target russian banks as well as international sanctions, targeting russian oil compani
with his russian counterpart, sergey lavrov. secretary kerry said he urged lavrov to engage in direct talks with ukraine. meantime, parallel talks between nato and russia are being held in brussels, belgium. secretary kerry also met in paris today with u.s. allies. that meeting included ukraine's new interim foreign minister, who was one of the protesters in kiev. he actually traveled to paris with kerry after kerry's high profile visit to that country's capital yesterday. the meeting concluded with issuing of the statements saying in part, "united states, united kingdom, and ukraine agreed direct talks between ukraine and russia facilitated as needed by members of the international community are crucial to resolving the current situation." meantime, russian troops remain in firm control of ukraine's crimea peninsula, amid lingering fears they will not stop there. jim maceda joins us live from moscow with more on the diplomatic efforts under way. jim, what's the latest? >> reporter: hi, there, tamron, well, that meeting you referred to was indeed brief, kerry did urge lavrov to have direct
john kerry and potential sergey lavrov. we'll keep you updated. they're trying to find an exit to this crisis. we have heard from secretary kerry once. here he was earlier laying the foundation before the talks began. >> the united states of america, the russian federation, and the united kingdom of great britain and north ireland reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of ukraine. weapons will not be used against ukraine. >> congress is stepping in, and russian president vladimir putin, here was speaker boehner this morning on the subject. >> steps that have not been taken over the last three or four years frankly allowed putin to believe that he could do what he's doing without -- without any reaction from us. but given where we are, we're here in a bipartisan way trying to irk with with the president. >> john boehner urging more action and the u.s. is not alone in offering up assistance. the european union is now offering a massive aid package, $15 billion to the interim yo ukrainian gov
going seriously south today was this morning when russian foreign minister sergei lavrov said that ukrainian power militaries actually attacked the ministry in crimea, wounding several people, presumably ethnic russians. despite there being no confirmation, no evidence of that, that alleged threat to russian compatriots in ukraine triggered a quick escalation, which russia has used many times before to justify an invasion. first the leader of ethnic russians in crimea called on president putin to send forces in to protect them from hostile extremists. then very quickly putin replied, requesting the use of force. and as you said in your lead, getting that request from force from the parliament. all that happening within just hours. now, that doesn't mean, alex, that putin will send in more troops and tanks to crimea. there are already plenty there. there is the black sea fleet base with thousands of russian troops. many of whom, by the way, have taken up positions securing airports, government buildings, telecom towers over the past 48 hours. but it does spike the tension even
Search Results 0 to 12 of about 13